New Toyota Cowboy Ben Hannant will play his first match for North Queensland against his former club Brisbane in Saturday night’s NRL pre-season trial at Stadium Mackay.
The former Test and Origin forward was today named in the starting front-row by coach Paul Green, joining fellow first-year Cowboys Justin O’Neill, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jake Granville and Kyle McConnell in a squad of 23.
O’Neill and Tanginoa, who are also in the starting 13, and Granville played their first matches in North Queensland colours in the NRL Auckland Nines at the weekend.
Green’s squad also includes fullback Lachlan Coote and hooker Cameron King in their comeback matches from knee reconstruction surgery and train/triallists Tom Humble and Cameron Cullen, who have signed for the Townsville Blackhawks and Mackay Cutters respectively.
Michael Morgan will switch from fullback to be Robert Lui’s partner in the starting halves in the absence of co-captain Johnathan Thurston, and Ray Thompson will get first shot at the hooker role.
“It’s time for the real stuff now,” coach Paul Green said.
“We’ve got quite a number of regular players in the NRL in this trial.
“We really have only this game and the one against the Titans in Cairns as a rehearsal for round one.
“The competition is on for spots in our team at the moment.
“We’ll be looking for guys who get some time in this trial to put their best foot forward.”
To get your ticket, and become a Cowboys member for 2015 at the same time, sign up for a Mackay Star membership today @ membership.cowboys.com.au
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos TRIAL MATCH
7.30pm, Saturday 7 February 2015, Stadium Mackay
1 Lachlan Coote
2 Kyle Feldt
3 Justin O’Neill
4 Tautau Moga
5 Javid Bowen
6 Robert Lui
7 Michael Morgan
8 Ben Hannant
9 Ray Thompson
10 Sam Hoare
11 Ethan Lowe
12 Kelepi Tanginoa
13 Glenn Hall
14 Cameron King
15 John Asiata
16 Ben Spina
17 Patrick Kaufusi
18 Kyle McConnell
19 Jake Granville
20 Tom Humble
21 Hezron Murgha
23 Zac Santo
24 Cameron Cullen